Masaryktown, Florida

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Masaryktown is a census-designated place (CDP) in Hernando County, Florida, United States. The population was 920 at the 2000 census. It is named after the first president of Czechoslovakia, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk.

Contents

Geography

Masaryktown is located at 28°26′30″N 82°27′38″W / 28.44167°N 82.46056°W / 28.44167; -82.46056 (28.441708, -82.460633)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 1.1 square miles (2.7 km²), all of it land.

History

Historic Pictures of Masaryktown, Florida

The following is taken from A History of Hernando County 1840-1976 by Richard J. Stanaback.

A community that stands today as a symbol of ingenuity and hard work, Masaryktown also was begun during the boom periods. The vision of constructing a town on the Hernando-Pasco border was conceived in New York City, in 1924, by Joseph Joscak, editor of a Czechoslovakian newspaper. It was to be named in honor of Thomas Garrigue Masaryk (1850-1937), first President of Czechoslovakia and resistance leader during World War I. He had been a good friend of ex-president Woodrow Wilson and was married to an American girl from Brooklyn, New York. Joscak and others formed the Hernando Plantation Company, composed solely of Czechoslovaks, to purchase land and to develop the town. I purchased 24,000 acres (97 km2), 9,500 in Hernando and 14,500 in neighboring Pasco, at $32.50 an acre on December 1, 1924. It was to be “a modern town, set in the midst of nearby 10,000 acres of rich arable land ... (situated) within six miles of Brooksville on the State Highway Road Number 5 South of the City.” The streets were to be named after Presidents of the United States. The investors had bought more land than they actually required, in hopes of selling the excess and using the income to pay off their own mortgages. No individual was to own more than five shares at $1,000 each.

The first contingent of settlers came in mid-1925 and immediately set out to work constructing homes and a large hotel to accommodate future newcomers. Among the early arrivals were Joseph Joscak, Clement Ihrisky, Peter Ruzak, H. Getting and John and Anna Cimbora. The Cimbora's built the Masaryk Hotel with money they made from the sale of their New York tailor shop. The Masaryk Hotel opened on January 1, 1926. The Hernando Plantation Company purchased an o1d sawmill located in the area and supplied building materials to the settlers at cost. It also constructed a rock crusher plant to prepare limestone for roads and agricultural use. By early 1926, 800 acres (3.2 km2) had been cleared and planted with tangerine, orange and grapefruit trees, plus grapes. And a dairy had been started by Martin Drahos who hoped to expand it to 100 cows. Masaryktown then had twenty-four dwellings in place and contained about forty-three families. The hotel was often filled beyond its capacity with some recent arrivals sleeping in tents and in an old abandoned black church. Thomas Hafner was elected as the settlement's first mayor in 1926. Perhaps the first civic group was a citizenship club, which was organized to instruct the residents concerning their American privileges and responsibilities.

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